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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 10, 2011 10:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'Keith is low in the mix'

From what I've listened to so far I wouldn't say at all that Keith is mixed too low,in fact I'd say it was just about right. The piano is not a lead instrument in the Grateful Dead soundscape, it's an accompaniment - its primary role is to augment the guitars and vocals not to challenge them.

Your thoughts on the older concert halls is interesting - I'd have thought, if anything, they would be ideal for the piano, having been built with that kind of acoustic in mind. Of course, Phil Lesh's bass thundering through a stack of amps would probably scatter your average symphony orchestra to the four winds.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Nov 10, 2011 11:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'Keith is low in the mix'

I think you are correct in that keyboards were mostly to fill in the harmony, and provide a background for the the guitarists (mainly Jerry) . I think Brett probably got more solo time than any of the piano/organ players (not a lot of Tom Constanten solos out there...). They were really happy with Keith when they first got him, and that he remained a subtle, tasteful player ( as lest before the drugs etc. started taking him down), he fit in with what they wanted . Even when he does solo, he usually keeps it brief . Bob Weir is hardly a soloist, though on the Europe tour, he almost is one ! What he is playing is often pretty interesting , and his totally idiosyncratic playing is a secret weapon of the Grateful Dead . I guess, cornered with the choice of hearing Bobby clearer or Keith clearer , It sorta has to be Weir . But being a piano guy, I wish I could hear Keith just a LITTLE clearer . But then, again, even with these wonderful cds, it is not always easy to hear exactly what Billy is doing all the time, for example .
But it is great to hear the 2 "soloists" loud and clear. The magic dance between Jerry and Phil is a continual wonder !
As to the halls, they would not have to play as loud . The PA , for sure would not need to be pumped as loud . I wonder if they played quieter in these concert halls ? The shows they did there sure sound great .

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Poster: cvenez Date: Nov 10, 2011 12:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'Keith is low in the mix'

I always wondered about this myself, not so much with the official Europe releases (which I have not heard yet), but in general. If you listen to the run when Keith first joined the band from Oct-Dec '71, he's often very up front in the mix, sometimes as loud as Garcia's guitar. There are also several shows from 1973, none which I can point to off the top of my head, where he's pretty prominent as well. Could be a function of the venue, the piano itself, or how the shows were recorded, but as he's my favorite of the Dead's keyboardists, I do find myself wishing he was a little louder during the shows where it's hard to hear him. His playing really complimented Garcia's amazingly well, and often times he was right in line with what Weir was playing.

Weir definitely should have been up front in the mix during the Europe tour all the way through 1974. His playing was by far the best its ever been during that time, and at times rivaled Garcia's. I remember reading an interview with Garcia somehere a long time ago where he spoke about how Weir was able to do some things on the guitar that he (Garcia) couldn't. I think he was talking specifically about how Weir was bridging China Cat and Rider with the instrumental bit they did during '72-74. I could listen to those jams all day long!

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 10, 2011 3:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'Keith is low in the mix'

"and at times rivaled Garcia's"

Sorry, I agree with Dennis. As good of a rhythm player Bob was, to my 65 yo ears, he absolutely does not have the lead guitar gene. He's good at interesting little 3 or 4 note combos and that's about it - he couldn't string together a good melody to save his life. And he was standing next to one of the great melodists of the 20th century.

PS - the interesting little riff that he plays in China Cat? Garcia.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Nov 10, 2011 2:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'Keith is low in the mix'

"...and at times rivaled Garcia's."

Wow! That's some good shit you're smoking!

Sour Diesel?


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